Thursday, April 16, 2009

Act Your Age!

Have you ever been told to act your age? That bites. Someone is trying to fit you into their ideal of a magical behavioural template. Long live the individual, I say, for any demographic. I'll take Jean Chr├ętien choking an activist any day over grandpa in a rocking chair. I'll take Pierre Trudeau giving some placard carrying protesters the finger over Stephen Harper in Argyle socks and matching vest. I'm not promoting aggressive politicians, but I do appreciate that they weren't 'playing a role'. They appeared to be comfortable in their own skin. Lucky thugs.

My son enjoys the luxury of knowing his grandparents. I wasn't lucky enough to know mine in any meaningful way. The one grandparent who I did meet was my Scottish grandmother. She was the stereotypical old woman who represented the past. Watching her as a child made me wonder if she ever had a day of hilarity in her entire life. She probably had a few, but not in her eighties.

I watch my own parents in their eighties. My father gave up windsurfing at the age of eighty-two. He still rides his mountain bike at age eighty-five. He actively gardens, walks, does his morning exercises, shovels his own driveway, mows his own lawn, and so on. My mother, less fit than my dad, is as playful as a teenager. She desperately wants to play ping pong when she visits my home. A replaced hip a few years doesn't slow her down, it speeds her up!

We recently gave mom and dad a very inexpensive ping pong kit so they can play ping pong on their dining room table. Secretly I hope the neighbours see them playing ping pong through their window. They'll think my parents have lost it...that their behaviour is rather odd for grey haired pensioners. They're definitely not 'acting' their age. What is age but a bedraggled state of mind anyway?

'Act your age' is about as useful a saying as 'bite me'. If we did either, you probably wouldn't like us.

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